tonight on a special edition of "nightline" -- your voice, your vote. a massive blow for president obama as the republicans take control of the senate on this midterm election day. as the polls are closing, we are live with all the results. plus, how this outcome shapes the oval office. from the last two years of president obama's term to the upcoming race to the white house. this special edition of "nightline," your voice, your vote, will begin in 60 seconds.
the ballot tonight, but did not help his party, given that he has an approval rating of only 44%. exit polls tonight reflecting an electorate that is unhappy and scared. 71% are worried about another terrorist attack. it added up to a very, very bad night for democrats and one that will have a big impact on the 2016 presidential race. you knew this was going to be a tough night for democrats when this scene played out in kentucky. senator mitch mcconnell, the leader of the senate republicans, declaring victory early in the evening and by a wide margin over his young democratic opponent, alison lundergan grimes. >> this journey, the fight for you, it was worth it. >> tomorrow, the papers will say i won this race. [ cheers and applause ]
but the truth is -- the truth is, tonight, we begin another one. one that's far more important than mine. and that's the race to turn this country around. >> reporter: this race embodies the big stakes of this night. republicans have now won all of the crucial seats they need to take control of the u.s. senate, making mitch mcconnell the new senate majority leader. some of the big republican wins include colorado, iowa, montana, arkansas and west virginia, sh historic win. >> for the first time in the history of west virginia, we are sending a woman to the united states senate. >> reporter: republicans are riding a wave of discontent. voters expressing extreme anger with politics as usual. >> to me, it doesn't matter anymore. i mean, they're not -- they say
this and then they get in there, they do something else. >> reporter: 65% say the country is heading seriously on the wrong track. a pervasive pessimism that prompted many democratic candidates to distance themselves from president obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 44%. and it certainly didn't help when obama went out on the stump and publicly said this. >> i'm not on the ballot this fall, but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. every single one of them. >> reporter: that sound byte quickly ended up in republican ads across america. there are 36 governorships up for grabs. here, the democrats have had some good news. democrats prevailing in hard-fought battles in pennsylvania and new hampshire, for example. but whatever side of the aisle you're on, victory does not come cheap. these 2014 midterms are the most expensive ever. a whopping $3.6 billion and counting.
>> congressman yoder made his by skinny dipping on the job. >> cannon ball! >> reporter: most of it spent on political ads that ranged from terrifying. >> terrorists committing mass murder. ebola inside the u.s. both republican -- >> reporter: to silly -- ♪ won't let them see ♪ that i'm a phony radio disc jockey ♪ >> to down right bizarre. >> i grew up castrating hogs. >> reporter: joni ernst rode that catch phrase all the way to victory. >> and we are going to make them squeal. rrl one of many republican victories tonight. let's bring in abc's chief anchor george stephanopoulos. george, what does this mean for president obama's final two years in office? >> well, that is the big question -- >> can he get anything done now? >> that's the big question. you have big republican majorities in the house. majority of 54, 55 seats in the
senate. potentially by the time all the votes are counted in all of the close states. so, the republican congress is going to be able to pass pretty much what they want to pass. of course, the president still has the veto pen, but both sides are going to have to make choices. it's what we've been talking about all night long. will they also pay heeld to the message coming from the electorate that they are sickle of a broken washington, sick of a dysfunctional federal government and congress. and they want to see both parties get something done. we'll get the first clues from president obama tomorrow when he holds his press conference in the afternoon. tells us what we thinks of the results and gives his first indications of how he's going to work with the congress. >> what are the consequences for the presidential race in 2016? >> it's a very different map. this could be a very different electoral from what you will see in 2016. traditionally, midterm elector rats are older, more republican.
some of the young voters, the minority voters that turned out for the president stayed home. it's going to put a challenge for hillary clinton, kind of unopposed. on the democratic side right now, a huge lead. but she's going to have to figure out what message she takes in this election and how she's going to handle president obama in the final two-year-o y. it sets the stage for a number of republican candidates right now. scott walker, big win in wisconsin tonight. he's going to be immediately looked at as a candidate. also, you know, governor chris christie had a big night helping so many republican governors stay in office as chairman of the republican governors association. and you still have people waiting to see what jeb bush wants to do, ted cruz. wide open republican field right now. and what they're seeing is still a -- an electorate that is angry, unhappy about the economy. but also, an electorate that doesn't think all that much yet of the republican brand. we'll see how they do, what all those candidates do to rebrand
the party. >> abc news chief anchor george stephanopoulos leading our coverage all night long. george, thank you. and we'll be right back with more on this breaking news and we'll be right back with more on this breaking news tonight. try the improved formula of boost® original nutritional drink. each delicious serving provides... 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle, and 26 essential vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin d to support bone health. plus, boost contains 3 grams of fiber which helps support digestive health. try boost original nutritional drink today. which helps support digestive health. if yand you're talking toevere rheumyour rheumatologiste me, about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation
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this special edition of "nightline," your voice, your vote, continues. >> and we are back now live with our coverage of a momentous day in american politics. republicans taking control of the u.s. senate in a midterm election rout. let's bring in our roundtable of expe experts. matt dowd, let's start with you. how bad a night was this for democrats? >> it was really bad. i think it was. when you look at the election results in 2010 and this year,
this was a wave, a republican wave that hit and hit the democrats and the president hard. and every race that was broke at the end, broke in the republican's favor. and i think this president, when you add up the numbers, will have suffered, for a two-term president, the worst midterm losses of any president in the last 50 years. >> nicolle wallace, can this president work with this congress and this senate over the next two years? is there any hope of anything getting achieved? >> we'll see. what happens, usually, after an election like this is, both sides overread what the voeders were trying to say. i think that one of the overwhelming messages that democrats and republicans were sending tonight is they're tired of the grid lock. it was an anti-democratic sentiment and anti- -- against this white house, but it was also, ill think, a statement about dissatisfaction with washington. i think this is a great opportunity for republicans to show we have a proactive agenda. we are waiting for results in virginia, where ed gillespie is
the republican candidate there and ed was one of the few candidates who had an alternative to obamacare. i hope that republicans will come out and try to govern. >> donna brazile, is there any silver lining you can find in tonight's result? >> well, in washington, d.c., where i live -- it was a tough night for democrats. it was a difficult map. history was not on our side. we get to fight in two more years. >> bill crystal, is there any republican who emerges from this night as a stronger candidate in the 2016 race for the white house? >> i think most of the likely candidates could rationalize this night as confirming that they are the right person for the job. the governor of ohio wins a big re-election victory. he's pretty moderate. he went along with obamacare. scott walker, though, who has fought pretty fiercely won for the third time in four years in
wisconsin. ted cruz can say, i shut down the government, that doesn't seem to have worked out to badly. marco rubio can say, no, i'm more forward looking moderate is the right way to go. chris christie did a good job raising money for republican governors. you'll see them all over the next couple of weeks, couple of months explaining how these election results suggest that maybe they're the right person for the job in 2016. >> david plouffe, will your former boss, president obama, recalibrate in any way and should he? >> well, i think i agree with nicolle, i think it was ant anti-incumbent. clearly frustration with the democratic party. you have to acknowledge those results and i think you have to -- you're going to have to really reach out here and try to find ways not for the political purposes here, but you've only got two years left. so, you want to keep making progress on the economy, on fiscal issues, immigration, education. you have to find every possible -- i think this is -- i
think it would be good for the president to find some areas of compromise. i think it would be good for the republican party. so, you know, this may be a place where everyone's interests align. i think there will be at least be a few months here where there is potential deal space. >> matt dowd, a couple of seconds left. is compromise in the next couple of years, are the odds of that about the same as my finding a unicorn in central park? >> i don't know if you are looking for a unicorn -- >> always. >> good luck with that. i think there is room for this. and i think the biggest thing for me that came out of this is the same number of republicans and democrats showed up, but what decided this election was independent voters. where they split is where the republicans won. and if i were the president and the republicans, i would look there and say, what can we do together to figure out a way to appeal to them? >> matt dowd, nicolle wallace, ghoon brazil, bill crystal, david plouffe. so greet have your analysis on this big night in american politics and we here at "nightline" will be right back with more of our live coverage
of these midterm elections. keep it here. >> this special edition of "nightline," your voice, your vote, is brought to you by geico. and ah, so you can see like right here i can just... you know, check my policy here, add a car, ah speak to customer service, check on a claim...you know, all with the a ah, tap of my geico app. oh, that's so cool. well, i would disagree with you but, ah, that would make me a liar. no dude, you're on the jumbotron! whoa. ah...yeah, pretty much walked into that one. geico anywhere anytime. just a tap away on the geico app. if you're suffering from constipation or irregularity, powders may take days to work. for gentle overnight relief, try dulcolax laxative tablets. ducolax provides gentle overnight relief, unlike miralax that can take up to 3 days. dulcolax, for relief you can count on.
and finally tonight here, a recap of our top story. the republicans taking control of the u.s. senate in race after race. tonight, the republicans beat the democrats in states that were both blue and red including many states that president obama won in his race to the white house. and to put a capper on the whole thing tonight, take a look at this. a symbolic image. after a sweeping republican victory. new york's iconic empire state building, all lit up in red. we want to thank you for
hey, how much longer we gotta help out at this thing? ray, all the parents have to do their time. come on. you don'tee bill parker complaining. oh! bill parker! mr. "look at me! i'm ng of the carnival!" come on! he's doing itfor the school. he's a good father. oh, what, he's a better father than me? is that that you're saying? i'm not a good father? you wanna be a good father? go help out in the child care room. i'll go. they got a tv in there? hey, barone, what happened? what are you doing? oh, i wa uh, doing this. hey, gimme that! i can do that, thank you veryuch. we're ready to finish the rest of the booth frames. i can use some muscle. let's rock! i'll be back to check on those, and they better be spot-free, ok? this isn't like home, where i let that stuff slide.